It’s hard to believe that tomorrow morning, in my hometown, or should I say city (!), of Stirling, I will have reached the halfway stage of my WHSmith ‘The Shift’ Scottish signing tour and really I couldn’t have asked for things to have gone better!

Starting in Dunfermline on Saturday, September 3, where I sold 43 books and, interestingly enough, had one stolen, I moved onto East Kilbride where I sold 47 books and reached a high point of 51 books sold at Hamilton before dropping to 37 on a very quiet September holiday weekend in Livingston and adding 40 more book sales in St John’s town of Perth last weekend.

But it’s not just all about sales, honest guv! What I really enjoy about book signings all over Scotland is the chance to meet and speak to people I have never met, find out what they like and a bit about themselves, while of course giving them the back story to Thoroughgood my books and where my ideas have come from.

The opportunity to share all of that with, perhaps in excess of 400 people, before tomorrow’s signing in Stirling, is invaluable and I owe WH Smith and especially Garry Torrance, their Central Scotland stores co-ordinator, a huge thanks for the chance.

I am also delighted to share with you that in 2017 plans are already afoot to mount a signing tour of the North of England with, of course, WH Smith!!

Yet while I have been out on the road I have been continuing to work away on the MS for Thoroughgood V: The Blood Acre, which is set in 1990 and follows on from The Shift.

So most weeks I am up at 0555hrs, five mornings a week, aiming to hit 1000 words between 6am and 8am and I have just gone through 53,000 words with a target of around 90k before Christmas!

The inspiration behind the section I have just written this morning comes from a famous robbery committed down south by a ’team’ of Glaswegian armed robbers, who were, amazingly in another life, members of The French Foreign Legion (you couldn’t make it up!!), and next week I will be heading down to The Lake District to scout the town I am using for the armed robbery to expand on the excellent visuals I have been using from Google Street Maps/Views as a starting point.

Because believe me when you are writing nothing beats the evidence of your own eyes in real time for detail that might make a set-piece sequence that bit more realistic.

Realism is very much the name of the game for me as a crime writer!!

Clearly, as you will know, if you read my last blog you will be aware that Thoroughgood IV: The Shift, has been nominated for The Peoples Book Prize and if you would like to click on www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=1448 you still have time to beat the November 30 deadline to post a vote for The Shift…it would be very much appreciated…believe me!!

But if you are in Stirling tomorrow between 11am and 3pm please drop in at WH Smith and join me for books, banter and plenty of baloney…you might even find it quite interesting!!



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I am delighted to announce that my new book ‘The Shift’ has been nominated for The People’s Book Prize, the prestigious award voted for by the UK’s reading public, which is also supported by the Publishers Association.
But to make it to the final I need your help!
The Shift has been selected for the fiction category in the Autumn selection of novels along with 30 other quality works submitted by Publishers from all over the UK, which have beaten off all comers in order to take part in the battle to earn a place in the grand final.
With the final a black tie event at the Stationers’ Hall, London, on a gala evening in May 2017, hosted by TPBP patron Frederick Forsyth CBE and televised by Sky News, it promises to be the ultimate showcase for any aspiring author.
I am particularly excited about this opportunity as back in 2012 my second outing in the Thoroughgood series “The Hurting” was also nominated but sadly failed to make it to the final.
I make no secret of my admiration for Frederick Forsyth and his work and ‘The Day of the Jackal’ remains one of my favourite books of all time and I would love the opportunity to meet the man behind one of the greatest thrillers ever written, as well as promoting The Shift in the final of such an esteemed award.
But to make it through to the final I need your votes behind me and to register your backing for ‘The Shift’ I would like to invite you to click on the link www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=1448 and place your vote to help Thoroughgood and myself enjoy a night to remember in the big smoke!.
Voting closes on November 30 so you have plenty of time and fingers crossed, if you have enjoyed the Thoroughgood series, you can spare me a moment to register your support.
It would certainly be very much appreciated!!!
Meanwhile although the news that ‘The Shift’ has been nominated for TPBP has been a huge boost this week my focus now returns to my WH Smith Scottish signing tour which started last weekend in Dunfermline and continues in East Kilbride tomorrow.
As always in The Kingdom of Fife I received a warm welcome, with one lady even very kindly giving me a bag of chocolates for my troubles.
While I was delighted to notch 43 sales I was a bit perplexed by the theft of one of my signed copies…but I guess that’s all part of life’s rich tapestry!!!
It will be interesting to see how things go in ‘EK’ as my signing coincides with an Old Firm football game but then crime fiction is mainly read by ladies, so we will see if that works in my favour!
Anyway if you are in East Kilbride tomorrow between 11am and 3pm, then why not swing by WHSmith for books, banter and baloney…but don’t forget to pay at the till on the way out!!!

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